Happy 3 day weekend! Tomorrow is Patriot’s Day here is Boston, aka marathon Monday, and everyone either has the day off from work or took the day off to enjoy the festivities. This is my first Marathon Monday, and I am seriously looking forward to experiencing the crowds and seeing 3 of my friends who are running cross the finish line.
Besides the events on Monday, this weekend is very, very quiet. I am still recovering and catching up on sleep from last weeks 80’s debacle, so I decided to spend this weekend hanging with Z, cleaning, and tackling some serious cooking. Including what was my first solo roast chicken.
I grew up having a roast lunch practically every Sunday, and it wasn’t a rare occurrence to come home from school and find my Mom preparing roast chicken for dinner. Despite how easy my Mom made it seem, cooking a roast always intimidated me. She would time the potatoes, broccoli, butternut squash, peas, chicken, and gravy to be done all at once; nothing was ever cold. Before I left for college I was challenged to “cook a roast by myself” which, while I knew how to make eat element, ended up with my Mom and brother give me extra hands to get everything out on time. After that I haven’t attempted a real roast since.
I decided to start simple, focusing on the chicken and adding Mediterranean-inspired vegetables to create a unique and interesting palate. As I was in Stop & Shop buying the chicken I almost “chickened out” (pun intended) but today at 5 pm took a deep breath and dove right in.
Mediterranean Roast Chicken
1 4-lb roasting chicken
Any fresh or dried herbs you have on hand
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bulb of fennel, chopped
1/4 lb kalamata olives (about 10 – 15)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon flour
Preheat oven to 400*
Rinse the chicken and put in breast side up in a roasting pan.
In a bowl, mix together all of your herbs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (I used fresh dill, mint, and cilantro, with dried oregano and basil). Add the olive oil and grind with your hands or the end of a wooden spoon until a paste is formed.
Using your hands, gently separate the skin from the chicken breasts and put some of the paste between them. Cover the rest of the chicken with the paste, rubbing it over the legs, wings, and the rest of the skin.
Put all of the chopped vegetables in a large bowl and toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Put in the roasting dish around the chicken.
Put the pan in the oven. After 30 minutes baste the chicken with its juices and turn over the vegetables. Roast for 30 more minutes, then remove, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Remove the vegetables and put in a bowl. Remove the chicken to a carving board and carve as desired.
In the hot roasting pan, pour the white wine and, using a spoon, scrape up all of the chicken’s juices and yummy bits stuck to the pan. Pour into a saucepan and add a little flour, whisking thoroughly. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, adding some salt and pepper.
Serve the carved chicken with the vegetables, drizzles with the gravy.
I was so pleased with the smells emanating through our apartment, I couldn’t wait for dinner to be done! The chicken turned out well, very moist and tender. The vegetables were a delicious combination, I especially love roast fennel. Though this is not my Mom’s typical roast, for my first roast chicken I think it was delicious. And I am excited to not only have some leftovers, but to have lots of chicken to use in recipes throughout the week!